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Curious_George

Ezekiel 37:15-28

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Dear Sirs and Madams,

I'm currently working my way through Eric Shuster's fascinating book, Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest, and the author briefly mentioned that the Bible bears witness to the Book of Mormon in Ezekiel 37:15-28. However, when I read the passage in question, it seemed to only be talking about the future promise of a reunited Davidic Kingdom and perhaps the arrival of the Messiah.

Where is the reference to the Book of Mormon?

In Christ,

Geoffrey

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The question a person must ask themselves regarding this verse is what/who is the stick of Judah, and what/who is the stick of Joseph.

(I would honestly be shocked if they didn't mention this in their book)

You mention, Davidic Kingdom and you mention the Messiah. David and the Messiah are both from the lineage of Judah. They are the stick of Judah, or the bible, which has been given to us by the Jews. Without the Lord's apostles and without the Jews we would not have the records which were ultimately organized into the Bible.

The stick of Joseph, is referencing written information which stems from the children of Joseph. We know the Book of Mormon references their genealogy as being from Joseph.

The stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph have now combined, or as this verse suggest, "And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand."

They are now one in our hands.

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Unfortunately, the book did not explain that. It just dropped the verse numbers and moved on. Thank you for providing me with some insight.

I guess I can kind of, sort of, see your interpretation, but it seems apparent from the context that Joseph's stick is Israel and Judah's stick is, well, Judah. And verses 21-25, read:

Say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD: I will soon take the Israelites from among the nations to which they have gone and gather them from all around to bring them back to their land. I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel, and there shall be one king for them all. They shall never again be two nations, never again be divided into two kingdoms. No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols, their abominations, and all their transgressions. I will deliver them from all their apostasy through which they sinned. I will cleanse them so that they will be my people, and I will be their God. David my servant shall be king over them; they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my ordinances, observe my statutes, and keep them. They shall live on the land I gave to Jacob my servant, the land where their ancestors lived; they shall live on it always, they, their children, and their children’s children, with David my servant as their prince forever.

--NABRE Translation

So, how does the interpretation that this is referring to the Book of Mormon arise? I'm not seeing how one could approach this verse and see that expectation contained within it. What I see is a promise of a reunited Kingdom and the healing of the division between Judah and Israel.

Can you please elaborate on your viewpoint and explain why it is reasonable in light of the content of the passage?

Don't get me wrong, I find it interesting, but I'm just not seeing it.

Edited by Curious_George

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Geoffrey,

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe in latter-day prophets; prophets who have been called by God as Adam, Noah, Moses, and Peter. As these men were directed by God to interpret and provide scripture our prophets are, to know surprise, provided the same rights and privileges by God.

These prophets, in our dispensation have provided the interpretation for us. In light of this, we find these words,

"Elder Boyd K. Packer said: “The stick or record of Judah—the Old Testament and the New Testament—and the stick or record of Ephraim—the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ—are now woven together in such a way that as you pore over one you are drawn to the other; as you learn from one you are enlightened by the other. They are indeed one in our hands. Ezekiel’s prophecy now stands fulfilled” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 75; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 53).

In short, however in length I invite you to read this Ensign article, the verse speaks of two different sets of writings coming together, one from Judah and one from Joseph.

The bible is the stick of Judah and the Book of Mormon is the stick of Joseph. These two will become one in a person's hand, the records will be read together.

Israel is being gathered, and one day again the Lord will rule and reign over the house of Israel. They will no longer be separate kingdoms.

Edited by Anddenex

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The Ensign article gives what I was looking for--an exegetical explanation. I may not ultimately come to agree with it, but it's a well-reasoned argument that I'll need to digest for awhile.

If my inquiries have come across as hostile, I apologize. I'm just really curious. I've never encountered this stuff before, and I want to learn about the reasons behind Mormon beliefs, not just what such beliefs are. I guess it's just a curse of my disposition as a math guy, but when I want to learn about others, I engage the intellectual questions first.

I hope you did not take offense.

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Anddenex, I finished reading the article. It was very informative and it brought up a lot of neat details about the "sticks." I never knew about wax writing boards, but it makes sense, and the unification of tribal records adds deep meaning to the passage. Though, I'm not sure if I agree with identifying those tribal records with the Bible and the Book of Mormon...it's a lot to ponder.

Mr. Shuster really should've footnoted this Ensign article in his book.

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The Ensign article gives what I was looking for--an exegetical explanation. I may not ultimately come to agree with it, but it's a well-reasoned argument that I'll need to digest for awhile.

If my inquiries have come across as hostile, I apologize. I'm just really curious. I've never encountered this stuff before, and I want to learn about the reasons behind Mormon beliefs, not just what such beliefs are. I guess it's just a curse of my disposition as a math guy, but when I want to learn about others, I engage the intellectual questions first.

I hope you did not take offense.

Your inquiries didn't come off as hostile, they were presented as someone who holds his beliefs and is fact checking another person's beliefs in comparison to theirs, or their current belief system.

What you ultimately come to agree with is your personal choice. There are others on this site you are not Mormon who enter into conversations with us and share their beliefs.

Welcome to the site.

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Curious_George, to be honest with you, I had the same reaction you did. The stick of Judah/stick of Joseph thing in Ezekiel is a scripture mastery (or was) which is a scripture that LDS seminary students (high school age) are encouraged to memorize.

When I got around to reading the Ezek. passage in context, I also felt a bit of a, "Well if the Bible / Book of Mormon connection is a meaning of the Ezek. scripture, it's a secondary or tertiary meaning at best." Then again, many prophecies have multiple levels and multiple methods of fulfillment (reduce, reuse, recycle, haha).

Either way, even without the Ezek. scripture, it is worth stating on its own that the Bible and the Book of Mormon do go hand in hand, enrich the study of the other, and both testify of Jesus Christ as our Savior from death and hell. :)

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